The homeland of humanist Marsilio Ficino
A charming medieval village in the province of Florence, Figline Valdarno was the location of the 13th-century struggle between Guelphs and Ghibellines, which led to the destruction of the historic castle. The town is famous as the birthplace of philosopher Marsilio Ficino, to whom the irregularly shaped, porticoed main square is dedicated.
Figline Valdarno boasts the 13th-century Collegiate Church of Santa Maria, which houses the great altarpiece by the Master of Figline, featuring the 1317 Madonna Enthroned with Child, Six Angels and Saints Elisabeth of Hungary and Louis of Toulouse. On the opposite side is the former Serristori Hospital, founded in 1399 to care for the poor and the sick. The Antica Spezieria herb shop retains some historical furnishings and numerous ceramic and glass artefacts from the 15th to the 19th century.
The symbol of the city is Palazzo Pretorio, with its high, 14th-century crenellated tower, restored in the 1920s. Don’t miss the Gothic-style Church of St. Francis, with its Renaissance portico and 17th-century frescoes.
Leaving the city centre, we recommend heading into the woods of Monte Scalari, between the Valdarno and the Val di Greve. There you will find the Abbey of San Cassiano, in a sheltered spot that is only accessible on foot.